A second man has died after a two-car collision on State Highway 2 near Mt Bruce on Sunday.

The man, in his 60s, had been airlifted with serious injuries to Wellington Hospital after the high-speed, head-on crash about noon on Sunday involving a four-by-four utility vehicle and a Suzuki Swift.

It is understood the man was in the four-wheel drive.

Five people were involved in the collision, including another man who died soon after being freed from the wreckage, despite emergency workers performing CPR on him at the scene. He was believed to have been driving one of the vehicles.

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A woman, aged about 30, in a serious but stable condition was flown with her baby to Palmerston North Hospital. The fifth crash victim was taken to Wairarapa Hospital by ambulance.

SH2 was closed for several hours while firefighters, paramedics, flight crews and police worked to save the crash victims.

Traffic was backed up for several hundred metres from the crash scene and, from about 1pm, was diverted along Opaki-Kaiparoro Rd through the Mauriceville settlement.

The second fatality in the wake of the crash takes the provisional road toll for Queen's Birthday weekend to eight.

Police were yet to confirm the names of the two men who died and where the crash victims lived.